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Move to end canned lion hunting welcomed

This is an excerpt from an article written by Karen Kotze and published in print and online by False Bay Echo on 16 May, 2021

News of South Africa’s planned end to canned lion hunting has been welcomed by those who have campaigned against it.

Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy said on Sunday May 2 that South Africa would no longer breed captive lions, keep lions in captivity, or use captive lions or their derivatives commercially.

Captive lion breeding was not contributing to conservation and it was doing damage to the country’s global conservation and tourism reputation, she said.

The multimillion dollar lion-breeding industry supplies cubs for tourism, lions for trophy hunts, and bones for traditional medicine.

Ms Creecy announced that the government would stop issuing permits to breed, keep, hunt, or interact with captive lions and was revoking current breeding permits.

The 2015 documentary, Blood Lions, was part of a global campaign of the same name to stop canned lion hunting. In April 2016, the Zandvlei Trust hosted a fund-raiser and aired the hard-hitting documentary at the Masque Theatre, where the Blood Lions crew and guests spoke out vehemently against the industry.

Campaign manager and director of Blood Lions, Dr Louise de Waal, said of the recent announcement: “The Blood Lions team has worked tirelessly to end this cruel and unethical industry and its spin-off activities. This announcement is highly significant and we commend the minister in her decisive leadership to bringing an end to the commercial captive lion breeding industry. The Blood Lions team offer their full support in developing and implementing a responsible phase-out plan to ensure that the industry is successfully closed down in South Africa, once and for all.”